German designer brings swakara and seal together

The German Fashion designer, Andrea Wild, who recently displayed her collection consisting of swakara, silk and much more, during the New York Fashion Week, recently visited Kopenhagen Studio. The visit marks the first step in her journey to incorporate seal skins in future designs.

Her collection in New York was the culmination of three years hard work and one of the most prominent design ideologies that were visible in her designs, was the fusion of the hard and the soft, the positive and the negative. She illustrated this ideology by using skins that illustrated toughness with skins that were characterized by softness, such as the fusion between bonefish and swakara.

- The collection consisted of almost 50 styles. It was an amazing experience to finally show it to the world in Grand Central Station in New York, because it was the culmination of three years' work that initially began because I was freezing in an opera house, she says.

Andrea Wild's career as a fashion designer, and her fascination with the fusion of hard and soft materials, began with architecture and stage designs in Semperoper, the opera house in Dresden.

Fashion is our second skin

The Berlin based designer originally worked as an architect and stage designer before moving on to clothing. To other people, this may be perceived as an odd and tremendously large career jump, but for Andrea Wild it was the result of a natural evolution.

- Designing a house or a room is not so different from designing clothing. A room is a person's third skin and fashion, the clothes that we wear, is our second skin, she says.

Working in the Dresden opera house meant that Andrea Wild was often at opera rehearsals. When the opera house is full of visitors, it accommodates 1500 people, and the temperature would rise. However, during rehearsals only a few people would be present, and the cold temperatures in the great, old building chills you to the bone. 

She decided on a whim that she would make a piece of clothing in order to keep warm. The fabric of choice was lamb. Shortly after, a musician approached her. He also wanted her newly made garment. Suddenly, her first design was made.

Fashion became her passion and three years later, she found herself in another great, old building - the Grand Central Station in New York, this time with 50 designs.

Finding new techniques

When working with the fusion of various skins that possesses different qualities, it becomes important to work with different techniques in order to bring the materials together. As Andrea Wild wishes to work with seal skins, working with Kopenhagen Studio, one of the most experienced studios in the world when it comes to seal, seemed obvious.

- In the time I have worked with fashion, three things have become very important for me. High quality materials, high quality manufacturing and finding new techniques, new ways of working with fur, she says.

Her work with Kopenhagen Studio has only just begun, and the first meeting was focused on techniques and learning about seal skins. Andrea Wild wishes to bring seal together with swakara and even though these two materials possess very different qualities, one being tough and the other being soft, she believes that the project will be successful by working with Kopenhagen Studio.

- When you work with good, professional people you experience that they continuously try and try until they succeed. That is why I believe these two materials can and will be bonded, she says.

A natural material

Andrea Wild is excited about the prospect of working with seal skins. She believes that it as a skin type that not only has a very different feel to it compared to lamb or swakara, but also is perceived differently by people. But even though they are perceived differently, she believes that these skin types share historical similarities.

- These skins have been used by humans throughout our history. They are a natural resource and I believe that it is ok to use skins, as long as we are aware that we don't waste resources. Also, by using these skins, designers can show other people and designers some of the other materials that exist in the world, she says.

As Andrea Wild reflects on the major events that have happened in her career lately, she explains that the greatest experience has been the response from people.

- Through fashion, it is possible to communicate emotions to people, and when they respond it feels amazing. I can reach people, she says.